The Experience of Two Women Deciding to Stop Fertility Treatment and the Difficult Moment to Say “Enough”

One piece of advice is to “be realistic about the low chances of success in fertility treatments”: 30 percent is the world standard, and 45 percent is with donor eggs (Getty).

A few weeks ago, a reader named Clarice sent me an email that said, among other things, “Hi. I have received your newsletter, and a topic that I would be interested in if you could study it, if possible, what about people who are trying to get pregnant, we even did treatment, but nothing helped. In my personal experience, I have not found a single place or book that talks about this. Everything I’ve ever heard, first hand or through the stories people tell you, is from people who have tried and overcome hardships. No one seems to talk about people who didn’t test positive. We seem to have become invisible. I have found information about people who have decided not to have children, but I don’t feel represented. I didn’t decide it, I don’t think it’s the same“.

After reading it, I continued to think of many cases known to me. Even in the story of Natalia, one of the main characters The biggest wish in the worldthat after much physical suffering and unsuccessful attempts one day he meets his ophthalmologist who tells him: “I know this, I know how it goes and I’ve said enough. You know all the trips to Europe for which I would pay with what I spent on treatment! Now I dedicate myself to travel with my husband, entertainment, career, courses… You know what? I am very happy”.

Clarissa is right. This speech is invisible. Not everything is worth having a baby, and there is a moment when you need to say “enough”: setting limits is great. Successful and romanticized messages such as “it’s worth it”, “you can”, “never give up”, “after effort comes reward” and even I’m going to be a mother no matter what (book by journalist Marisa Brel, back in 2010, one of the pioneers) push people to give up their happiness, their partner and even their health on a path that is completely uncertain. Well, it is not up to them, they do not control the pregnancy, and there is no certainty how it will end. And they inject a hefty dose of guilt into the idea of ​​stopping, as if it were a personal defeat, which makes it difficult to make a decision in time.

I still remember the words of the psychologist Miguel Espeche, whom I invited to the presentation of the first edition of the magazine. The biggest wish in the world at the Buenos Aires Book Fair in April 2016. He said, “Life can be rewarding and rewarding even beyond search results. And if not, then we are talking about the construction of this north.”

This has resonated with me over the years, and I bring it to every talk on the subject. I realized that the best way to go through the search for a child is continue to have alternative projects and also focus on themsomething that will make it easier for us to develop plan B later.

Psychologist Agustina Vera encourages people to figure out how long to try and invites them to ask if they are doing it out of demand or because “to belong, you have to be a mother” (Peksels).

As per Clarice’s post a few days ago when she was reading a book. in vitroMexican writer Isabel Zapata, I came across this paragraph: “If it’s hard to find the voices of women who chose not to be mothers, then finding those who wanted to be, but couldn’t, is almost impossible.”

Spaniard Miriam Aguilar, a former infertility patient and student of Gestalt psychotherapy, began preaching from her Instagram account: @holasoymirher story: after seven years of searching, during which she lost four pregnancies and treatment that did not work, she said: “I go thereI don’t want to keep postponing the happiness I had before I started.” Today, thirteen years later, he does not regret it and even claims it. She devoted herself to accompanying others in women’s circles.

Live on Instagram (you can see it at @agustinavera.psi) with Argentine psychologist Agustin Vera, a specialist in these matters, Miriam talks about the silence she lived in in her quest, which made her feel more isolated, more forced to move on, without someone to give her advice and help her see clearly more of their alternatives.

He also encourages people to ask questions find out how long; If continuation is a matter of mandate, a need for social status because “you have to be a mother to belong”, or is it really an intimate and conscious decision stemming from desire. If the impulse is the desire to try again or the fear of not succeeding, then what?

“In the mandate to keep going at all costs is a cruel demand of oneself,” he muses. Remember being able to say “to here” is a huge reliefgives people a plan, a course, a deadline that can be pushed back later because it’s very personal, without having to report to anyone.

“It is important,” Vera adds, “perhaps to think of other ways to access this experience. Because it is about this unique and exceptional experience that everyone unks You must travel with your questions, with your resources, and with your limitations.”

Miriam says that many women are surprised when she tells them that she is absolutely happy. And you are grateful that your partner was attuned to this process, because then everything becomes much easier.

Argentine psychologist Agustinavera Vera (@agustinavera.psi)

“What is the responsibility for this son, that the happiness of his parents depends on him. What a load he carries on his shoulders even before his birth, ”sneaks another Spaniard, Marian Cisterna, who is also from social networks (with @GroupHi) to help others.

She has her own history behind her: various treatments, miscarriages, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis that pushed her to the limit.

I interviewed Marian for a podcast greatest wish, whose issue is coming out in a few weeks (you can subscribe here to hear it), and told me about the day she knew she had to stop: “It was such a pit, and sadness, and anxiety, and anger at the world! All of the emotions we experience in assisted reproduction are heightened to their maximum strength and unified.”

She also argues that there are many alternatives to children’s happiness (strictly speaking, having children does not guarantee this either). She says that when she thinks about her lost child, about what her life as a mother could have been, it does not make her sad, but something like longing for the country where she lived and no longer lives. “But I am very happy,” he adds, “: I have people who love me, I have the sun that rises for me every morning.I have a gift to use that saves me from everything and the project.” Marian recommends that those undergoing treatment learn to manage expectations very well: “Life takes you and makes you the plans it wants“.

It’s important to think about the mandates that weigh on us regarding motherhood/fatherhood, where they come from, which ones serve us and which ones don’t. “It’s about starting to listen to yourself; if the amount of suffering already exceeds the enthusiasm for each procedure, if there is a lack of desire or difficulty in adhering to the required treatment regimen, if we are in doubt whether to have another procedure, if we tired put the body in this way, if we begin to imagine without Hello“if an idea or question starts to come up about what will happen if it never happens, it’s time to stop, perhaps open up a therapeutic space and start working on what to do with this disappointment and the pain that it implies,” she told me Faith. . There is no equal time limit for everyone, each person must find his own.

Spaniard Miriam Aguilar is a former patient with infertility: in seven years of searching, she lost four pregnancies until she decided to stop trying (@holasoymir)

Two things would make this whole process easier and better understand them on a personal and social level:

1. Accept the fact that infertility treatment comes with a lot of suffering.

2. Be realistic about the low chance of success in fertility treatment (world standard is 30 percent; 45 percent with egg donors). And the more treatments, the lower the chances according to the statistics of the scientific community.

It’s hard to live with uncertainty. Question people are concerned about: what will life bring me later, without children? No one knows.

One of the ghosts that has faced the idea of ​​turning the page is the loneliness in our old age, who will accompany us or take care of us then, as if fatherhood were a savings bank. There is no point in going so far; and we do not know whether this son will be with us, whether we will live to old age, whether we want it to be so in the future.

There is also the notion of transcendence, closely associated with children, as if posterity made the end of life less painful for us. The Spanish writer Silvia Nanclares writes about this in her book. who wants to be a mother, quotes the philosopher Marina Garces, who says: “With his death, I learned what in philosophy I could not read or understand. That our finiteness, human, is not our mortality. That we are finite not when we die, but when we feel powerless and overwhelmed by the inertia of what we do not want to live.

Miriam Aguilar says, “Life has set this limit for me and accepting it is not giving up or giving up. It’s not “I can’t take it anymore”, it’s “I don’t want it anymore”. “To discover the possibility of choice, not without pain,” adds the Spaniard, “is a great learning experience.”

The great thinker Simone Weil (a French philosopher, politician and mystic that I highly recommend finding and reading) says that pain leads to growth.

Note. This article summarizes some of the topics I cover in my Greatest Desire newsletter. To receive it by email, sign up for free here.

Keep reading:

When distance from big cities makes it difficult to find a child with the help of science
45 years since the birth of Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby

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